'Perpetual thorn to upper-caste pieties': How Ambedkar shaped modern India
April 15, 2016
"“Born into an ‘untouchable’ caste, educated himself and went on to study law in England and America; became leader of the ‘untouchables’ during the Raj; opposed Congress, which he saw as representative of the upper caste; pressured by Gandhi into pact with Congress in 1932; instrumental in drafting Indian Constitution; served as Law Minister in Nehru’s Cabinet , but finally distanced himself from the government; shortly before his death, converted to Buddhism in anger to Hindu caste practices , and urged his followers to do the same”-Index: Page 243 ‘The Idea of India’ by Sunil KhilnaniSunil Khilnani further writes in his book, “Born to parents of ‘untouchable’ Mahar caste in Maharashtra...who lifted himself out of the near universal illiteracy of his caste to gain doctorates from Columbia and London universities, pass the bar at Gray’s Inn, and become the leader of India’s most oppressed groups. A thinker of lucid and focused anger, and one of the main drafters of India’s Constitution, he was until his death in 1956 a perpetual thorn to the upper-caste pieties of the nationalist elite”.14 April will be celebrated as Dr BR Ambedkar's 125th birth anniversary. United Nations (UN) has also decided to celebrate Dr B R Ambedkar's birth anniversary at the UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday. As India celebrates the anniversary of the great social thinker and reformer, here are some glimpses of the major milestones in the journey extraordinaire of the man who continues to inspire millions to struggle for their rights."